In the summer of 2017, the CDC published a case study about an Oregon mother who may have reinfected her newborn with GBS (the baby already had GBS at birth). Though the source of the infection isn’t known (family members and food can also be sources) the mother did ingest placenta capsules that tested positive for GBS.
A pregnant woman is offered a routine screening for GBS (Group B streptococcus), a type of bacterial infection that can be found in her vagina or rectum, between her 35th and 37th week of pregnancy. Though the possibility is low, GBS can be passed from mother to baby during birth. 1 out of 200 babies who are born to a mother that tests positive for GBS will become ill.
There isn’t an industry standard for the safety around processing placentas. Each placenta professional follows their own established safety guidelines and each family is responsible for asking questions of their potential encapsulator.
We’ve been encapsulating placentas since 2001 and have never had an infection occur with any of our families. We believe that taking placenta medicine is safe for both the mother and the baby and that our method of high heat dehydration ensures healthy outcomes.
So, here’s how we keep you safe
Screening – For the safety of everyone, we do not encapsulate if there is an active infection at birth such as a uterine infection (chorioamnionitis). A mother testing positive for GBS in pregnancy is not contraindicated with placenta encapsulation due to the high heat used during placenta preparation.
Placenta lab – All placentas are processed individually on sterilized, stainless steel equipment in a specially built placenta lab. The lab is clean and secure and the placenta is labeled with the mother’s name at every stage of the process. We have eliminated the opportunity of a placenta mix up or cross contamination.
High processing temperature – Safe food handling guidelines state that 160 degrees is the temperature needed to eradicate bacteria in ground meat (other meats have lower temps). We always process at 165 degrees for three days to ensure the placenta tissue reaches 160. That’s hotter and longer than recommended. And that’s what keeps mothers and babies safe.
Sanitation – We replace gloves, aprons, hair nets, booties, and goggles with each placenta. All equipment is sanitized to eliminate all bloodborne pathogens and body fluids.
Talk to us
We want to answer your questions and understand your concerns. Please send us a note so we can connect. We’re happy to talk to you more about your unique situation and send references at your request.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Williams Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham, F. Gary, et al, Ch. 58. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.